The plan was to get away by 9:00/9:15 this morning. We were close….about 10:00. We all slept well, had a good breakfast and made sandwiches for lunch to take with us. Temperature-wise it’s been a steady 10-12C and today was no different; overcast but not raining.
Our first stop was a short one at the Svarholt cemetery, where my paternal grandparents are buried. The next stop wasn’t too far down the road at one of my favourite stops, Kartfjorden. It’s basically a large tidal pool/lake and grassy area, surrounded by mountains on 3 sides, with a couple of houses and a farm at the very end. It’s easy to walk around in the field, sometimes stepping from rock to rock to get over small streams. There’s usually some bird activity, mostly seagulls and they let you know very quickly if you’re getting too close to their nest. Today, though, there were a few oyster catchers who got very loud when we got too close, especially the one nesting on a large rock near the road.
When I was in Lofoten last fall, I was very lucky the day I stopped here because it was a sunny, calm day and the reflections were amazing. That was not the case today….quite grey and there was enough of a breeze to obscure any reflections that may have tried to show up. That’s OK though, we were out in the fresh air and we all got some good shots. I had a chance to try out the 100-400mm (200-800 in 35mm terms) lens, one of 4 that I have with me to test for Panasonic Canada, shooting the oyster catcher.
Done there, we loaded into the car (Peugeot 5008, a 7-passenger SUV….a very nice vehicle) and continued on. We stopped at the rest centre after crossing the bridge over Gimsøystraumen to use the WC (they’re well situated along the road all over Lofoten) and have our lunch at the picnic table. Normally I would have stopped at a few other places along the way for photo ops, but the grey day pretty much put the kibosh on that. We drove directly to Henningsvær, a small fishing village located on several small islands off the southern coast of Austvågøya. It’s also a very touristy town with lots of souvenir shops, artisan shops, a few restaurants, a few hotels, mountain climbing school and, would you believe, a soccer/football stadium. It’s amazing that they were able to build this quite impressive stadium on a rock overlooked by many cod fish drying racks. I wish I had had a drone with me to do this setting justice. The town’s main parking lot was pretty much full with tourist buses and motor homes, but not nearly as busy as it gets when the tourist season is in full swing.
One of the stops I always make in Hennivsvær is at Vidar Lysvolds photography gallery. I always enjoy seeing his very impressive photography from the Lofoten Islands. He has one room that has only spectacular photos of the Aurora Borealis, but what really makes them stand out is the black walls.
Barbara and Keith were taking photos and checking out a few of the shops, while Merle and I scouted out the football stadium. Before leaving the main parking lot, we had agreed to meet back there in an hour, which made it 3:00 PM. It was 2:55 when we left the stadium, so we knew we’d be 10 minutes or so late. We walked quickly and it wasn’t until I saw the parking lot across the harbour that I realized we had missed our turn that would take us back through the town to the parking lot. So, we reached the vehicle at 3:30. Not a problem….Keith and Barbara weren’t back yet, so I gave them hell for being late. I came clean though.
On the drive back, we stopped at Kartfjorden again just to stretch and wake up a bit. While there, I got a few more shots of the Oyster Catcher, but she was quite agitated, so I didn’t overstay my welcome.
Tonight was our home cooked dinner with Ingbritt and Bjørn-Arne at 7:00 PM. They have hosted each of my groups in their home, so all of my tour guests have had a chance to try cod tongues, whale and bacalao, a fish stew made with Lofoten’s dried cod fish. Wine, beer and Akavit topped off this excellent dinner experience. I can’t say enough about how wonderful Ingbritt and Bjørn-Arne are, welcoming us into their beautiful home. Just after finishing dinner, Bonnie Face Timed me, so she had a chance to catch up face-to-face with everyone. It’s always wonderful to see her smiling face when I’m traveling.
We left Ingbritt and Bjørn-Arne’s house at 10:00 and, since it was raining out, we opted for returning to the rorbua and staying there vs. going out for more photography. We were all tired after a long day, so it was a good choice. In bed by 11:30 and hoping for a good night’s sleep and good weather.